Friday 31 July 2015

The Blarney Stone & The Gift of the Gab

Visiting Blarney Castle in the Irish village where I spent my last school years I once more kissed the Blarney Stone. For the people with me it was their first time, and for me my second, the last time being when I was 16 the same age as one of my companions. 

I remember my struggle with unscripted spoken word in my teens. I never felt I had the right word, that my vocabulary was deficient and felt a constant frustration with never actually saying what I meant. 

Mark Twain talked about the difference between the 'right word' and the 'almost right word' being 'the difference between the lightening bug and the lightening' [1].  I felt it.

Kissing the Blarney Stone is supposed to bestow upon the lips of the kisser, the gift of eloquence (or the gift of the gab). I don't know if it did when I was sixteen but years of reading and writing and interacting with people has widened my vocabulary and given me more confidence in my ability to communicate. However, my insecurities still raised their heads. It did still cross my mind, if it was true that if you kissed the Blarney stone once you got the gift of eloquence but if you kissed it again you gave it back. 

I'm still waiting to see.

[1] Cited by Powers, R. (2001) Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy who became Mark Twain, Da Capo Press, p.174

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